Tina K. Russell

September 28, 2007

Hardy Har Harvard

Filed under: cereal, education — Tina Russell @ 11:52 am

A New York Times op-ed reveals the shocking truth: the nation’s selective colleges are not the unshakable bastions of social mobility they claim to be. Quelle shock! Sarcasm aside, this seems like kind of a non-story to me, only because I’ve never given a flying rip about colleges whose entire schtick is that they do not want to accept me. Perhaps it’s an unhealthy anti-elitism–I don’t know–but, in general, if the admissions process will give me bowel problems, I don’t want to go to your university. That’s actually kind of an extension of my general philosophy in life, but never mind.

In any case, I think this editorial grazes a bigger problem in our educational system that kind of gets my goat; we only focus on the students that are already doing well. This seems monumentally ass-backward to me. Surely we should give scholarships to students who are doing poorly, so that they may have a chance to recover in college? But, there I go, being all bleedin’-heart liberal again.

In other news, I’ve gotten a dangerous addiction to these generic Lucky Charms in my brothers apartment. They’re kind of a comfort food. It’s very sinister. I’ve always tried to eat healthy and avoid such things as cereals that are basically just compressed sugar, but I’m stressed out from the start of the school year and I just can’t help myself. Damn you, generic Lucky Charms, and how well you fit my morning routine! Damn you to hell!

Back to my earlier subject… I don’t really mean that Yale should hand out scholarships to F students. I just mean that it disturbs me in general that high schools and universities tend to parade around their top-performing students like crown jewels. I went to a high school that spent so much time focusing on the ten or so students that were flourishing that it spent no time on the scores of students–like me–who were smart but academically languishing. I wish we’d focus more on our students’ potential rather than waste our money on students who are already at the top of their game and don’t need our help. But, there I go again. See you later.

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May 29, 2007

Denying the Holocaust

Filed under: censorship, education, history, hoax, science — Tina Russell @ 12:33 am

Here’s another great moment in self-censorship: British schools are afraid of teaching the Holocaust–you know, where ten million people died–because they’re afraid of offending ultraconservative Muslims whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. …

You know, if I were a school teacher, I would teach the NASA moon landings no matter how many whackjobs claim they’re not real. This really gets my goat because, in order for the moon landings to be a hoax (or for the CIA to have slain Kennedy or Princess Diana is really Elvis, etc.), an absurd number of people would have to be a part of a cover-up (and it would become altogether too tempting to resist for any one of them to get rich writing a tell-all memoir). In order for the Holocaust to be a hoax–you know, every single thing in the mountain of evidence supporting it would have to be somehow planted–such an astronomical number of people would have to be “in on it” that only a complete idiot could believe that this is some kind of “Jewish conspiracy.” This is the Holocaust, many, many people died, don’t be so $^*)!!~ fidgety about it. It’s not like the complaints of a fanatical minority have made teachers nervous about teaching biology and evolution–oh, wait…

Anyway, I’m angry. Don’t censor yourself, it’s not helpful. This is what you get when you try not to offend anybody: you offend everybody. Teach the truth, and let the bigots complain all they want.

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